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Empire of Bones (Ashtown Burials #3)

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4.33  ·  Rating details ·  1,086 Ratings  ·  164 Reviews
Fans of both Percy Jackson and Indiana Jones will be captivated by the lost civilizations, ancient secrets, and buried treasure found in the third book of the Ashtown Burials series, an action-packed adventure by the author of "100 Cupboards."
Cyrus and Antigone Smith have thwarted Dr. Phoenix's plans--for the moment. They've uncovered a new threat from the transmortals a
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Paperback, 438 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Yearling (first published January 1st 2013)
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Gwen Burrow
Jun 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, favorites
In the first two books of Ashtown Burials, you aren’t really afraid that the main characters will die.

In Empire of Bones, you wonder if any of them are going to make it at all.

If the previous adventures were Star Wars: A New Hope, then this is The Empire Strikes Back. Wilson turns up the heat and pushes his characters—and his readers—to the limit in this intense, imaginative ride with orangutans, jungle ships, mohawked monks, shark chauffeurs, glacier lakes, ancient tunnels, dreams of death an
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Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I love anything N.D. Wilson writes, but his Ashtown Burials Series has become one of my all time favorite series and that status was cemented when I read an e-galley of its latest installment, Empire of Bones.

This is a series and you need to read the first two installments before reading this one. They are The Dragon's Tooth (my thoughts) and The Drowned Vault (my thoughts). If you haven't read those, go now. Don't waste any more time.

Lik
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Betsy
Review first posted on RedeemedReader

Wilson writes tight, robust fiction. Full of action and depth, there is nary a stray word–despite that page count! Everything has meaning. The transmortals (mythological characters such as Gilgamesh) are back. The Smith family along with their allies are also back. The Phoenix is back. Skelton’s inheritance begins to make more sense. Cyrus, in particular, is coming of age; Wilson handles this expertly. The supporting cast of characters revolve around his matu
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Valerie Kyriosity
I underline lots when I read nonfiction. I never underline when I read fiction. But then I got to this stuff:
"In every herd, many stampede, while only a few turn to face the lions. Cowards live for the sake of living, but for heroes, life is a weapon, a thing to be spent, a gift to be given to the weak and the lost and the weary, even to the foolish and the cowardly.
...

"Love burns hotter than justice, and its roar is thunder. Beside love, even wrath whispers....To love is to be selfless. To be s
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Jay Miklovic
Oct 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply incredible. Mortal life is meant to be spent. Reading Wilson always reminds me that words are capable of doing so much more than I make them do.

This is a series of books that I long for my children to read. The whole thing is layered so wonderfully. For the young reader there is plenty of story and also a call to a real heroism that is easily grasped. Yet for the older reader (and perceptive young readers) there are philosophical questions of justice, wrath, mercy, and even the very purpo
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Brittany Petruzzi
So this must be how my friends felt when they had to wait a year between Harry Potter installments. Only it's way worse for me because Ashtown is incalculably more enthralling than Harry Potter (to say nothing of how much better the writing is). And so far it's only gotten better with each book.

Is it next year yet?
Heather
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I like. Some good creepy stuff. More characters to love. Ready for book 4!
Megan Lane
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
GUYS.
I honestly can't even with this book right now. It's excellent - currently my favorite example of Christian fiction done well. There's no Gospel presentation, no Scripture quotations (though it comes beautifully close), no conversion. Just people who live for the One that made them according to the example set before them.
Live, or die, whichever is needed.
His words are beautiful. His characters are great. His stories are well-told. Every part of this story took on a life of its own.
I really
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Jessica Evans
Jan 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip your enemies of their greatest weapon. Even if they break our bodies and drain our blood, we are unvanquished. Our goal was never to live; our goal is to love. It is the goal of all truly noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even your life itself."
Michael
Jan 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I have been a little uncertain about this series. This book is brilliant and draws the others into greatness. Reading Death by Living and this was like reading Tree and Leaf. DBL was an explanation of his worldview and EoB is an imaginative demonstration. It engaged the emotions, senses, fears, hopes, beliefs and adrenaline like nothing else I've read.
Courtney Joshua
This book has been a really pleasant surprise! After my disappointment with the 100 Cupboards series, I keep expecting each book in this series to be more wordy and action-filled, but they've just been getting successively better.
David Gregg
I haven't been this excited about a fiction series since I read Lewis' Space Trilogy. Intriguing, clever, captivating.
Elizabeth
Oct 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm still not sure if I finished Empire Of Bones last night, or if it finished me. I AM certain I've never laughed and cried that much at the same time. And that there is going to be some really unpleasant withdrawal going on in the next few days.
Powerful, powerful, powerful good stuff.
“To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip enemies of their greatest weapon. Even if they break our bodies and drain our blood, we are unvanquished. Our goal was nev
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Rick Davis
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: general-fiction
Wow. Just wow. I might post a larger review later. But for now.

Wow.

-------------------------

Also, one initial thought: I wonder if Wilson is a fan of Tim Powers. Tim Powers is the only other author I've seen who likes to put his protagonists through such brutal physical injuries.

Of course, the scars and stitches fit in perfectly with the story that Wilson is telling, and it couldn't be any other way. Almost makes me wish I had a few more scars.
Joshua
Jan 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Epic. A mohawked Irish ninja monk and living stone statues fight a bunch of transmortals and fish-gilled men. It's epic because it brings the battle lines (drawn in the previous two books) into focus, and because it has a distinctly Christian worldview. What more could you want?
Steve Hemmeke
Nov 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reading the series out loud to my family, it's so good.

Here is rich imagery and exciting story that potently portrays the story and Savior of the Bible. Wilson does this without being preachy or opaque about it. It is clear at points, though unbelievers probably wouldn't notice it much.

The violence is a bit intense in places, not suitable for under 7-8ish.

Wilson glorifies virtues sorely needed in the (young fiction) world today: courage, loyalty, recognition and rejection of evil, honoring paren
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Olivia
This was exciting and beautiful and creepy and intense and profound all wrapped up in one great adventure. I greatly enjoy N.D. Wilson's books, and Empire of Bones is certainly not among the least. The ending was amazing. Just... I loved it.

It ended like this was the end of the series, but I had thought there would be more. I haven't seen anywhere else that this is the end, so I'm going to hope that there'll be another soon!
Ryan
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Wilson is a skilled story-teller, and I can't wait to read about Cyrus in his next book!
Alissa
OMG so awesome! But the ending!! I hope there's another book! N.D. Wilson just can't leave the story how it is! He just can't!
Kikibeauchamp
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imaginative-Good & Creepy-Adventurous

Such a fast-paced book! Loved every second...can't wait for Book 4!
Nüll
Oct 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"To Antigone Elizabeth and Cyrus Lawrence, I leave you this, My Empire of bones."

And that was just the beginning.
Lucy Ghost
English review at bottom!


"Live for those you love, until the end"

Los hermanitos Smith lo han logrado.
Lograron abrirle un hueco a mi corazón.
Debo admitir que el comienzo de este último tomo de la trilogía Ashtown Burials fue fantástico! Me encantó ese inicio! Qué lastima que el ritmo no se mantuvo y desgraciadamente no pude darle las 4 estrellas que quería. Pero bueno, el amor que llevo en el corazón no es normal.
Hace como dos horas más o menos terminé esto y todavía estoy pensando qué diablos pa
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Becky
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Must've read too quickly, because I'm still not sure who's actually alive/dead. :p
Krysta
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Source: Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Some stories are so powerful that they defy words. When I first read Empire of Bones, I did not know what to say. Reviewing it seemed, in a way, to be a desecration. It is a wonderful, thrilling, and moving adventure that I would have preferred to leave untouched rather than mar with words that could not do it justice. I have made that decision many times in the past. However, Random House was kind enough to provide me with a copy t
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The Gatekeeper
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is SOOO much better than the first two in the series. I enjoyed "The Dragon's Tooth," and "The Drowned Vault," but they didn't feel as well thought-out as N.D. Wilson's earlier books. I feel like the series finally got started with "Empire of Bones."

First of all, it raised the stakes considerably. Dr. Phoenix kind of fades to the background in this story (though he's definitely not going away for good), making way for a brand new and even more terrifying set of villains. The Burials a
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Jeremy
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kirkus Book Review here.

102: triumph over evil
144: making a vice a virtue
154: a thief doesn't ring the doorbell
Ch. 14 was awesome; Rupe was a lesser magistrate—execution, not murder (p. 273)
311: devilry and angels; "Some tools corrupt the user. Others are redeemed in holy use."
314-15: heroes vs. cowards; "life is a weapon, a thing to be spent"; sacrifice
329 (and elsewhere): reference to God; 333: Yeshua
338: God's work vs. gods' work
343: Daniel interprets dreams; Babd Catha; Lemony Snicket?
352: j
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Clare Farrelly
Dec 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow that was epic. But I want an epilogue. I really do, you can't end a trilogy like that. Did the bad guys die, what about the rest of the empire of bones, what about everything. I still have questions. The theme of fighting for what you love was great, and rang so true, especially in this case since it was not just some girl, but for family and friends, and teachers.

It was also funny, and the characters were as always great, (Which is why I need an epilogue) The book was also a bit creepy. N.
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Isaac
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another stellar contribution to the Ashtown Burials series. Things I love about this book (and all of Wilson's work):

- quirky characters
- amusing dialogue
- strong family ties
- high value on bravery, love, self-sacrifice
- clearer sense of what makes good and evil than other books of a similar genre

There's a whole lot of weirdness going on throughout and lots of unexplained references to relics, persons, and powers that leaves the reader guessing. Presumably, there's a great deal of depth to follo
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Mark Stevenson
Dec 18, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this series and this author. I loved the first 2 books, but it's definitely getting better as it goes. Can't wait for book 4. I read this book with my 7 year old and 4 year old (a chapter before bed). The 4 year old falls asleep pretty fast (a little too far over his head), but the 7 year old loves it. I wish the 4th book was out already because now I have to find something else to read until that is finished.

I have really enjoyed everything this author has written (I've only read the you
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Will there be a fourth book? 3 22 Sep 28, 2016 05:38AM  
New Group! Join the Order of Brendan! 1 6 Jan 26, 2014 03:43PM  
2013 Goodreads Choice Awards 7 6 Nov 12, 2013 08:05PM  
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Other Books in the Series

Ashtown Burials (3 books)
  • The Dragon's Tooth (Ashtown Burials, #1)
  • The Drowned Vault (Ashtown Burials, #2)
“Cowards live for the sake of living, but for heroes, life is a weapon, a thing to be spent, a gift to be given to the weak and the lost and the weary, even to the foolish and the cowardly.” 32 likes
“To love is to be selfless. To be selfless is to be fearless. To be fearless is to strip enemies of their greatest weapon. Even if they break our bodies and drain our blood, we are unvanquished. Our goal was never to live; our goal is to love. It is the goal of all noble men and women. Give all that can be given. Give even your live itself.” 30 likes
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